Are you an herbal infusion convert yet?
I write about herbal infusions (wrongly called “herbal tea” … but there’s no tea in these caffeine-free brews!) a lot because I love them!
Herbal infusions are a simple, gentle, inexpensive and effective way to get more herbal goodness into your daily life.
Even the busy mother or office worker can fit in a few cups per day. (After all, you seem to find time for coffee, right?) You can use fresh herbs when they’re available, or dried herbs year-round. You can infuse beautiful loose-leaf herbs … or take convenient tea bags with you in your purse! (I even have a travel-kit of herbal teas that come with me on every trip.)
But why you should really love herbal infusions is because they really work.
Today I’m going to share six herbal infusions with beauty boosting properties. And they’re not all for drinking. Three can be used as cosmetics.
Herbal tea! As a beauty product! Who knew?!
Oh yes, the world of herbal remedies is a curious place…
First, let’s get back to basics.
In general – fresh is best. Choose fresh herbs when possible. The next best is dried loose-leaf herbs, and finally herbal tea bags.
But even herbal tea bags are better than no herbs – so don’t have herbal tea shame, just use what you have, and start infusing!
As always, if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or being treated for a medical condition, always check with your doctor before using herbs for health.
3 beauty-boosting herbal infusions to drink
As a Vintage Amanda reader, you know that beauty starts from within. Eating a clean, whole foods diet and drinking enough water will go a long way to boost your good looks! But we can support the body in cleansing and nourishing through adding in herbal infusions. In particular, these three herbs have been used traditionally for cleansing the blood, liver and lymph system, and as a result, improving your skin!
As a general beauty boost, drink 1-2 cups of herbal infusion per day, over a period of 2-3 weeks.
Nettle - If you live in the US, you might not be familiar with the nettle … but if you’re in the UK, you definitely know this common weed (and have probably had your fair share of nettle stings as a child!) Nettle is one of my very favorite weeds because it’s so abundant, even in London, easy to identify, generally safe for most people to use, and it’s so versatile. Nettles are full of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, iron, calcium and silica. They are traditionally used as a ‘blood cleanser’ or ‘blood detoxifier’ commonly used in skin diseases such as acne and eczema. Plus it tastes nice. You can drink nettle tea straight, or mix it with peppermint leaves for a cleansing and refreshing infusion! You can order dried nettle here US store / UK store.
Dandelion - everyone knows this cheery weed which pops up unwanted in many people’s lawns/gardens. Don’t spray your dandelions with ‘weed killer’ – pick them instead! You can make dandelion syrup or cordial with the flowers, use the leaves in salad, or dig up the roots to make a roasty dandelion coffee substitute. For our infusion purposes, it’s easier to buy dried dandelion loose or in tea bags. Dandelion is a bitter herb that is traditionally used as a liver cleanser. Dandelion is a strong diuretic, which is the source of it’s French name pissenlit (literally “pee the bed”). Dandelion will taste bitter on its own, so you might find a blend (for example, dandelion and fennel), or mix it with cardamom, cinnamon and ginger for a dandelion chai! You can order dried dandelion here US store / UK store.
Clivers (Cleavers) - clivers is another common weed that is easy to identify because its little ‘hairs’ stick it to everything it touches – including dog fur or your clothes! Clivers is my favorite spring tonic. Clivers is traditionally used as a lymphatic cleanser, and folklore states (please don’t try this at home!) that if you drink nothing by clivers infusion for 6 months, you will be so beautiful, that everyone will fall in love with you! It’s a nice idea, but probably slightly exaggerated. Nonetheless, clivers is a cleansing herb that tastes fresh and green in tea, and is even eaten as a vegetable in China (though I think it would be a bit stringy!) You can order dried clivers here US store / UK store.
Or, you can buy this Detox tea from Neals Yard Remedies which includes all 3 beauty boosting herbs in a single blend!
3 herbal infusions to use as beauty products
Did you know that you can use herbal infusions as beauty products too? And it’s not only for DIY’ers – in fact, herbal infusions are included in many mainstream beauty products. It’s worth trying herbal infusions externally because they’re inexpensive and simple! And you just might like the results…
Marigold (calendula) - This bright orange flower is one of the best skin-soothing and healing herbs, and it’s used in tons of commercial skincare products. This cooling herb would be especially nice on inflamed or sunburned skin.
Rose - Rose the THE flower of beauty, used by centuries of women to enhance their good looks. Rose is emotionally balancing and uplifting, and especially good for sensitive or delicate skin.
Elderflower - This was the English-woman’s skin secret. Old herbal books are filled with recipes for Elderflower water for whitening and refining facial skin.
How to use herbal infusions as beauty products:
- Apply cooled infusion to your skin with a cotton ball as a skin toner after cleansing.
- Pour cooled infusion into a spray bottle and use as a cooling and toning body splash.
- Make a facial steam by pouring some steaming hot infusion into a large bowl, and then putting your face over it (just enough to feel the steam – not close enough to burn!) Steam your face for 5-10 minutes. You may want to drape a towel over your head to intensify the steam.
- Use the infusion as a final rinse for your hair after shampooing
- Add the infusion to your homemade creams or lotions.
Note that because herbal infusions are 100% water-based, they have a very short shelf life. Store your herbal infusions in the refrigerator, and use within 2-3 days.
What are your favorite herbal infusions for boosting your natural radiance? Let us know in the comments!